Putin faces smarter sanctions threat from West after Russia makes $100bn in exports


The deputy chief economist discussed the impact of Western-imposed financial sanctions on Russia with journalist Kirsty Wark on Newsnight.

Ms Ribakova explained how Russia had still managed to make $100bn since the beginning of the year, despite financial sanctions being imposed on the country since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine.

The deputy chief economist claimed that she still did not believe that the tough sanctions had failed.

And claimed the best thing for the Western allies to do was to stop working with Russia’s exports.

Ms Ribakova told BBC Newsnight: “Well I think it just says that doing sanctions, is not [as] easy as just flipping a switch.

“It is hard, Russia indeed has got the highest historic current account surplus ever.

“It’s gotten a hundred billion dollars since the beginning of the year in their current account surplus.

“Their budget isn’t surplus as well, because they collecting a lot of money into their… Because of the tax system.”

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Ms Ribakova added: “I don’t think sanctions have failed, I just think that we need to try harder, we need to be smarter with sanctions.

“And also not be naive thinking that disconnecting Russia for just a few weeks maybe a few months will be sufficient.

“There has to be a pivot away from working with Russia’s exports, period.”

The British Government along with other European countries has tried to impact Russia financially since the beginning of the full-scale invasion in February.

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Foreign secretary Liz Truss issued tough financial sanctions on Russia, in an attempt to try and stop helping Russian President Vladimir Putin from funding his bloody war.

Europe has been trying to ween itself off from Russian oil and gas, as this is a large industry that Russia makes extraordinary amounts of money from, by selling to the West.

Political leaders in the West have been discussing what further actions they can take with Russia in terms of tougher sanctions.

Western allies to Ukraine have come together this week at the G7 summit, and are said to be taking a firm stance against Russia.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz discussed what more the West can do.

Mr Scholz said: “All the sanctions we imposed over Crimea are still there.

“All the sanctions we imposed because of the Russian-incited uprising in Donbas are still there.

“And the same will go for the decisions taken now, which are much more severe.”

He added: “There is only one way out: for Putin to accept that his plans in Ukraine will not succeed.”

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